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Coastal highway: Umahi chides Obi, says he’s inciting south-east people against FG



David Umahi, minister of works, has addressed criticism of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi regarding demolitions embarked by the federal government to make way for the coastal highway.

Umahi spoke in Lagos on Wednesday during a stakeholders’ meeting on the road project.

Recently, the federal government commenced the construction of the Lagos-Calabar coastal road, which is expected to run through the shoreline of beach resorts in Lagos, while traversing eight other states.

The project has generated controversy and concerns about funding and the businesses that would be affected during construction.

The former Anambra governor had described demolition of structures for the project as “insensitive” and “heart-wrenching”.

 “A similar scenario occurred when His Excellency Peter Obi was governor and he made a statement. He said, ‘Any infrastructure that stands in the way of road construction must go and there will be no compensation paid,’” the minister said.

“That’s what he said. But look at me, by the human face of the Renewed Hope Agenda administration, we are even paying for people that are illegally staying on the coastline and do not even have, you know, valid infrastructure and valid documents. That is mercy.

“You know some people counsel without knowledge. ….When you condemn people, you bring judgment upon yourself. And that’s what he has done.”

Benefits of the coastal infrastructure 

The Works minister said that the coastal road will enable people to travel with ease.

“…anyone that is traveling from Sokoto to Lagos will do it in about 10 hours and traveling from southeast to Abuja will be a maximum of five hours, these are the benefits of the coastal roads.

He noted that the roads will be constructed with concrete pavement and will drive foreign investment into the country which will in turn strengthen the Naira.

 He also said that the coastal road will be an “evacuation corridor for the Lagos deep seaport.”

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